Fireworks went up in Tahrir Square an hour ago as the Egyptian General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi announced that democratically elected Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi has been removed from power in a military coup.Since Sunday, millions of Egyptians have held mass protests calling for the removal of Morsi and restructuring of the government. At least 39 people have been reported dead in clashes between opposition members and government supporters since the protests broke out, including 23 people involved in an incident near Cairo University’s main campus.In addition to ousting the president, the Egyptian Armed Forces has laid out a political roadmap for the government’s future. The Islamist-backed constitution has been temporarily suspended and a new constitution will be created. The EAF promises freedom of expression and of media to the Egyptian people. The chief of the constitutional court will be sworn is as an interim president until a new president is elected.Following the mass protests and bloodshed, on Monday Egyptian generals issued Morsi an ultimatum: respond to the protestors’ demands within 48 hours, or face military intervention.Morsi angrily rejected the ultimatum in a speech Tuesday evening, insisting he was still the legitimate leader of the country. However, the speech marked a turning point, as members of Morsi's own cabinet responded by renouncing him.As the New York Times reported, Shortly after his speech, the extent of Mr. Morsi’s isolation became clear when a statement was issued on the cabinet’s official Twitter account condemning it. “The cabinet declares its rejection of Dr. Morsi’s speech and his pushing the country toward a civil war,” the statement declared. “The cabinet announces taking the side of the people.” The cabinet spokesman had resigned, and it was unclear who had taken over the Twitter account.
Jessica Corbett, a former In These Times intern, is a Maine-based staff writer at Common Dreams. Follow her on Twitter at @corbett_jessica.